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Published 4 Sep 2004

High Yield Potential
Tempered For Some Fields

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R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address:

ith all the hoopla about record or near-record Indiana corn yields this year, it may be prudent to recognize that late-season stresses will temper the high-yield excitement for some growers. As you read through this short list of fearmonger items, recognize that yield loss is a relative thing. Five or ten bushels lost from a 220 bu/ac potential still leaves you with very good yields and you may never realize that the yield loss occurred.

Just as importantly, many of the following stresses tend to increase the risk of stalk rots and weaker stalks by virtue of their negative effects on late-season photosynthetic capacity. A loss of photosynthetic capacity during the midst of grain fill can cause plants to remobilize carbohydrates stored in their stalk tissue to the developing grain. Such carbohydrate remobilization weakens the structural integrity of the stalks and increases the risk of subsequent stalk rot development. Growers should continue to inspect fields for compromised stalk strength or the development of severe stalk rots and adjust their harvest schedules accordingly.

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Related References

Nafziger, Emerson. 2004. Toward the Finish Line. The Bulletin (Sep 2). Univ. of Illinois Extension. Online at (Verified 9/3/04).

Shaner, Greg. 2004. Northern Corn Leaf Blight on Corn. Purdue Pest & Crop Newsletter (Aug 20). Purdue Univ. Extension. Available online at (URL verified 9/3/04).

Shaner, G. and D. Scott. 1998. Stalk Rots of Corn. Purdue Univ. Extension Publication BP-59. Available online at (URL verified 9/3/04).

Shaner, G., P. Sellers, and D. Scott. 1998. Gray Leaf Spot. Purdue Univ. Extension Publication BP-56. Available online at (URL verified 9/3/04).

Vincelli, Paul. 2004. Factors That Could Enhance Stalk Rots in Corn. Kentucky Pest News (Aug 2). Univ. of Kentucky. Available online at (URL verified 9/3/04).


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